Estes Kefauver

American politician (1903–1963)

Carey Estes Kefauver (July 26, 1903 – August 10, 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee. He was the Vice Presidential running mate in the 1956 election. He ran for President of the United States in the 1952.

Estes Kefauver
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
January 3, 1949 – August 10, 1963
Preceded byA. Thomas Stewart
Succeeded byHerbert S. Walters
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd district
In office
September 13, 1939 – January 3, 1949
Preceded bySam D. McReynolds
Succeeded byJames B. Frazier, Jr.
Personal details
Carey Estes Kefauver

(1903-07-26)July 26, 1903
Madisonville, Tennessee
DiedAugust 10, 1963(1963-08-10) (aged 60)
Bethesda, Maryland
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Nancy Kefauver (1911-1967)

Early life


Kefauver was born in Madisonville, Tennessee, to Robert Cooke Kefauver and Phredonia Bradford (née Estes). Robert Kefauver was a hardware manager. Estes attended the University of Tennessee from 1922 to 1924, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree and being initiated into the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. After a year of teaching mathematics and coaching football at a Hot Springs, Arkansas, high school, he attended Yale Law School, where he received a LL.B. cum laude in 1927. The next twelve years Kefauver practiced law in Chattanooga, first with the firm of Cooke, Swaney & Cooke, as a partner in Sizer, Chambliss & Kefauver, and later in the firm of Duggan, McDonald, & Kefauver. In 1935 he married Nancy Pigott, who is from Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, whom he had met during her visit to relatives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They had four children, one of them was adopted. Mrs. Kefauver died in 1967.[1]

He was aroused by his role as attorney for the Chattanooga News, Kefauver became interested in local politics and sought election to the Tennessee Senate in 1938. He lost but in 1939 spent two months as Finance and Taxation Commissioner under the newly-elected governor Prentice Cooper. When Congressman Sam D. McReynolds of Tennessee's 3rd district, which included Chattanooga, died in 1939, Kefauver was elected to succeed him in the House.


  1. The Freelance Star, Nov. 21, 1967